Research and technology are continuously evolving, and with this progress comes the ability to better identify and treat disease. Unlike many offices, Complete Health Dentistry of Portland utilizes saliva testing with Scaling and Root Planing to treat you individually. This is especially important for patients who are at high risk for medical diseases. With just traditional Scaling and Root Planing, it is possible for bacteria to enter the bloodstream and travel through the body, potentially having detrimental effects. With the assistance of these saliva tests, Dr. Dowsett and his team can treat your infection specifically to prevent such episodes.
When a patient is diagnosed with periodontal (gum) disease it means he or she has pockets of infection in the tissue around his or her teeth. If left untreated, these pockets of infection can cause tooth loss and sometimes contribute to systemic disease. Like other infections, the earlier it is treated, the more likely it is that it can be controlled. Skilled dental hygienists treat periodontal disease with nonsurgical therapy. Nonsurgical therapy includes saliva testing to identify the bacteria causing the disease, prescribing topical/systemic antibiotics, and comprehensive scaling and root planing and ongoing maintenance care at the right interval for you.
Most importantly, our approach emphasizes education and coaching so that you the patient understands and is able to successfully use the right tools, oral health products, and habits to stay on the course of health.
The Goal of Periodontal Therapy
Periodontal therapy can improve oral health for patients in several ways, including:
- Creating an environment for healing
- Reducing deep pockets of infection so toothbrushes and floss can be more effective
- Removing calculus, stains, and bacteria from the teeth and in the pockets
- Reducing bad breath
- Reducing the number of bad bacteria before they increase the risk for systemic diseases, i.e. heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and pre-term births
Saliva testing for periodontal bacteria
Saliva testing for periodontal bacteria tells the dentist what kind of bacteria is causing the infection, and if the patient would benefit from taking an oral antibiotic during therapy. Treating each patient more specifically yields better long term results.
Scaling and Root Planing
Scaling and root planing is done with an ultrasonic instrument. This instrument removes bacterial plaque and calculus [tartar] from the teeth and deep periodontal pockets by breaking up the bacteria and flushing it out from these pockets. It also smooths the tooth root, creating an environment for healing.
Locally placed Antibiotics
In the more advanced areas of periodontal disease, a time-released antibiotic powder or gel is placed in the deeper pockets to kill any remaining bacteria for twenty-eight days.